Wow, so I thought Phase 1 in Maximum Strength had some really tough days. The first two days in Phase 2 have both been long and tough, starting each day with cluster training. Cluster training is a tool to build strength and size by doing reps at a higher percentage of your 1 rep max. For instance, it could be sets of (4×1)x5 with 10 seconds rest. This means I would unrack the weight, do 1 rep and rerack the weight. Then I would count to 10 seconds, and do another rep. I do this 4 times with 10 seconds between each rep, which is the 4×1 part of the equation and is 1 set. So total, I would do that 5 times. Since I have the 10 seconds of rest in there, I should be able to do around 80% of my 1 rep max, and benefit from doing more reps than I could without rest. Though there is a big difference between the lower body and upper body cluster training. The lower body portions have been more draining and I am out of breath when I finish a set. Upper body is more along the lines of CNS and muscle failure, but I don’t feel winded. This makes sense because the squats require more from the entire body than say, bench press. I will say this though, the clusters are at the beginning of the day and after finishing those exercises, I feel like I should be done for the night. Nap time.
I was excited to see clusters in the program because I had heard a lot about them. Here is a more in depth article that describes some of the major benefits of Cluster training. If you are interested in taking cluster training to the next level, check out Christian Thibaudeau’s Cluster Training product. Check out all of his products for that matter, and gain some real knowledge.
Just remember, before your first day of clusters, get your pre-game pump up going because it will be a tough tough workout if you do it right.